Frustrated New Yorkers didn’t let the heavy rain hold them back from rallying outside of City Hall today to challenge Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing initiative, reports Gothamist.
Thousands of public housing residents along with members of the clergy descended upon City Hall to advocate for a new affordable housing plan that was presented to Mayor de Blasio at a town hall meeting last week in East New York. The new plan, drafted by East Brooklyn Congregations and the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, suggests that the city transforms vacant New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) sites into housing for low-income seniors. Doing so would open up larger public housing apartments for families and could create 15,000 new senior apartments.
Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan is on track to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing by 2024 but it does not prioritize housing for the elderly.
New Yorkers also called upon the city to prioritize NYCHA’s $17.1 billion budget deficit and to present criminal charges to landlords who unethically evict tenants in gentrifying neighborhoods.
City Hall already has a plan in place to slash $4.6 billion off NYCHA’s $17.1 billion in unmet capital needs, called NextGeneration Neighborhoods, that will look into administrative staff cuts, increasing rent collection, and allowing for commercial leases on NYCHA owned property.
Per Gothamist, City Hall says that it has met with rally organizations and is “open to working with them further.”